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“The Dutch Safety Board will conduct an investigation to assess the follow-up of its recommendations regarding flying over conflict zones, published in the final report ‘MH17 Crash’. The Dutch Safety Board wants to determine the measures that parties have taken regarding airspace management in conflict zones and in sharing information about threats. The Board also will investigate how operators take into account overflying conflict zones in their risk analyses and in how they give account of the chosen routes.”
With a Malaysian aircraft crashing within the territory of the Ukraine, the country to lead the investigation was assigned by the Ukrainian National Bureau of Incidents and Accidents Investigation of Civil Aircraft (NBAAII) to the Onderzoeksraad Voor Veiligheid,( literally “Investigation Council for Safety”) or the DSB. The NBAAII entered into an agreement with DSB to lead the examination of all the facts and the determination of the causes.
The DSB’s second iteration of this review will delve into the
- parties’ (countries of interest and ICAO)
- airspace management of Conflict Zones,
- their creation of Conflict Zone Information Resources
- the airlines’ flight patterns considering these Zones of risk.
A brief review of the efforts to create risk information about conflict zones:
That history would suggest that the members of the UN aviation safety organization were reluctant to post the type of intelligence which would be useful to operators. Diplomatic considerations might embarrass an ally or increase tensions with another country; consequently, the ICAO site today looks like this:
It will be interesting to see how the DSB characterizes the UN effort.
The 2nd iteration of the MH17 iteration could resurrect the problems surrounding the Russian involvement. Given the current world tensions about Mr. Putin, the DSB’s ability to review the record and avoid that issue will employ the Dutch diplomatic skills. If that danger is circumvented, the DSB’s findings as to the poor ICAO conflict zone site, the countries management of airspace near areas of risks and the airlines’ flight tracks. The DSB determinations might be damaging to any number of the parties, but hopefully their work will produce useful improvement of the risk data and examples of how best to align flight routes to avoid future tragedies.
Flight Safety has posted the DSB announcement in its industry news website, A simple Google search did not find any other coverage. The reopening of the MH 17 record may impact international relations- aviation, for sure and perhaps more broadly on an international geopolitical basis.
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